What drives The Master? A beginner’s guide to Doctor Who’s ultimate adversary

The Doctor faces a showdown with his mortal enemy the Master in Saturday evening’s finale of Doctor Who! Brush up on the Doctor’s age old nemesis with our handy beginner’s guide…

Who is this villainous woman trying to do the Doctor over?

The Master (or should that be the mistress?) is a renegade alien Time Lord who spends most of his (or in this case, her) time trying to bring destruction to mankind in one way or another. Like all Time Lords, the Master is capable of surviving fatal injuries through regeneration!

Hang on a minute! Isn’t the Doctor also a Time Lord?
He certainly is! In fact when the Master first appeared in the sci-fi show back in 1971 he was billed as a ‘Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes’.

Regeneration you say… Didn’t John Simm also play him – back when the Master was a man?

Yes he did, in fact Michelle Gomez (above) is the eighth reincarnation of the character since he was first portrayed by Roger Delgado in 1971. John Simm played him most recently in 2010, when he and David Tennnat battled it out in The End of Time.

Roger Delgado

So where did the Master get his name?

The writers wanted to emphasise the fact that he was one of the Doctor Who’s most feared adversaries and his intellectual equal – so like the Doctor, he has a name which suggests he did pretty well at university.

If the Master is now a woman, does that mean the Doctor could one day be played by a woman?

That’s a good question. The casting of Michelle Gomez has certainly raised that issue and it’s a debate that has raged among Whovians for some time. Some fans argue that a female Doctor would be a case of political correctness gone mad, while others say that as a fictional character, the Doctor can be either sex!

Sounds like a debate that could go on for a while. So what’s the Master – or the Mistress – up to in this series? 

Well the Mistress (aka ‘Missy’) has somehow trapped the conscious minds of deceased people in a virtual afterlife called the Nethersphere and …stay with us …now she’s helping the Cybermen create an army from human corpses!

But does she have a sonic screwdriver?

No, but she has the next best thing. An iPhone which also serves as a heat ray, as we saw when she disintegrated poor Dr Chang last Saturday!

So the Doctor has his work cut out then…

He certainly does. Check out the trailer for Saturday’s finale below!

Death In Heaven, the Doctor Who series finale screens on Saturday, November 8 on BBC1



Latest TV News